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FBI Charges Manhattan Resident in Alleged $43 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

A Manhattan resident, Idin Dalpour, finds himself at the center of a legal storm as the FBI accuses him of orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme involving cryptocurrencies, allegedly defrauding investors of more than $43 million.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice on May 1, Dalpour purportedly lured investors with enticing promises of significant returns by investing in both a Las Vegas hospitality venture and a crypto trading operation. However, the FBI claims that these promises were merely a facade, and Dalpour was actually running a classic Ponzi scheme.

The FBI alleges that Dalpour utilized funds from new investors to pay earlier ones, diverting a substantial portion for personal expenses. Among these were gambling losses amounting to approximately $1.7 million and private school tuition for his children.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams characterized Dalpour’s promises as illusory, stating, “Dalpour’s promises were a mirage, and he was running a classic Ponzi scheme by paying investors purported returns with other investors’ money.”

The indictment suggests that Dalpour had been operating the Ponzi scheme since 2020, targeting victims both domestically and internationally. It is claimed that he falsified contracts and bank records to entice investors, offering annual returns of up to 42%.

Furthermore, Dalpour allegedly misled investors by falsely claiming that their funds were insured and secure. If found guilty, he could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

This development comes on the heels of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing charges against 17 individuals involved in a separate $300 million Ponzi scheme. This scheme, which predominantly targeted Latino investors across multiple states and countries, promised substantial returns through purportedly “risk-free” and “guaranteed” crypto and foreign exchange investments.

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